TOP 19 IPL STORIES OF 2019!
Season #4 is in the history books! Another amazing year!
As always, huge THANK YOU to IPL Athletes, Promoters, Staff, Coaches, Trainers, Vendors, Sponsors, Friends, and Families! Without you, the IPL would not be possible!
Over the next six weeks we will be counting down the top 19 IPL stories of 2019!
We will kick this off with #19 this week!
#19 CAROLINE’S COMEBACK
Although Caroline Tsutakawa is the IPL Northern California Liaison and has coached hundreds of athletes to success on the IPL stage, she herself had only competed in one IPL contest. The 2016 IPL Arizona Championship in Mesa Arizona. At that contest Caroline certainly made her mark. And in a VERY big way!
Here is the complete list of Caroline Tsutakawa’ s Wins:
- Bikini Masters (50+), Bikini Masters (40+), Overall Bikini Masters, Bikini Masters PRO CARD.
- Sports Model Masters (50+), Sports Model Masters (40+), Overall Sports Model Masters, Sports Masters PRO CARD.
- Fitness Angels Masters (40+), Fitness Angels Masters PRO CARD.
WOW! What an IPL stage debut!
It would be more than three years before the IPL stage would see Caroline Tsutakawa again.
The big question over the past few years was, “When will Caroline make her IPL Pro Debut???” Fast forward more than three years to the 2019 4th Annual IPL West Coast Pro/Am in Sacramento, CA.
And how did Caroline do in her return?
- 1st place Pro Bikini Masters
- 2nd place Pro Sports Model Masters
- 1st place Amateur Theme Wear Masters 40+ (a new division which was actually introduced for the first time at this contest)
- 1st place Pro Masters Evening Gown.
Not bad for her Pro Debut!
Now the question is will Caroline defend her titles in 2020!!?
#18 RAQUEL FLAHERTY TAKES TEXAS
Raquel Flaherty hit the IPL stage for the first time at the September 2018 West Coast Pro/Am in Sacramento, CA. At that contest she placed 1st in Bikini Open Class A and earned her IPL Pro Card.
Little did we know, Raquel had driven from Texas (where she resides) all the way to Sacramento California to compete in this contest. Soon after the show she asked, “Why doesn’t the IPL have a show in Texas?” Little did she know, we did! It was a small show in need of a reboot. Raquel was up for the task and took over as the IPL’s Texas Contest Promoter.
The first contest she promoted was the 2019 5th Annual IPL Southern Championship in March. A successful show. Her next contest would be the 2019 4th Annual IPL Texas State Pro/Am in July. Another successful show which actually had almost twice as many competitors as the March show.
As this post goes out, Raquel is promoting the 2020 6th Annual IPL Southern Championship in March.
We are excited to see what the future holds for Raquel Flaherty and IPL Texas!
#17 IPL EVENING GOWN DIVISION
The IPL Evening Gown division is about presentation, muscularity, conditioning, impressive levels of health and fitness…all packaged in an amazing evening gown. It’s about showing the world that you can be muscular and very fit and still look elegant, feminine and fabulous in an evening gown.
There were just so many examples of this during 2019. There were so many incredibly amazing and talented athletes to hit the IPL stage…ages ranging from the 20’s into the 60’s…all across the county…it is difficult to mention them all. And not just Pros or Pro Card winners. The lineups were deep and the talent was strong across the board. Here are just a few highlights during the season.
With the level of competition seen in 2019, one can only imagine what 2020 will be like!
#16 NEW WOMEN’S ATHLETIC PROS
The 2019 season saw some incredibly impressive females hit the Women’s Athletic division. This year Women’s Athletic generated tons of excitement and inspiration as females from across the country displayed spot on physiques and presentations for the division.
In the end, the IPL awarded nine Pro Cards in the division, including Open and Masters.
We are excited to see what’s next for these amazing Pro Athletes!
#15 NEW WOMEN’S ATHLETIC PRO CHAMPIONS
Continuing with our Women’s Athletic Pros, the 2019 season saw more Pro Champions than any other year in the IPL. Six Pro Titles were given out this season. Two belong to new IPL Pro Jennifer Micheli!
What an exciting year it was for the Pro Women’s Athletic division!
#14 KRISTEN PEREZ ALMOST TAKES OUT TAWNYA CLINE!
Everyone that follows the IPL is well aware that Tawnya Cline is at the top of the game when it comes to the Bikini division.
Throughout her four years of competition in the IPL she has been relatively untouched. That being said, she did go head-to-head with Elli Nichole at the 2018 West Coast Pro, were Elli took the win. This was the first Pro Bikini Open loss Tawnya Cline had experienced in her IPL career.
Fast forward to the 2019 California Pro. In a stacked Pro Bikini class it all came down to two competitors. Top IPL Bikini Pro, Kristen Perez. And of course the queen herself, Tawnya Cline.
When these two hit the stage it became clear that Kristen would be giving Tawnya a run for the money.
By the time Finals rolled around the two were tied on the score cards.
What did this mean? It was all going to come down to their Model Walks at Finals. Talk about a nail-biter!
Although Kristen was quite impressive in her Model Walk, it was not enough to topple the queen. In the end, Kristen ended up 32 points (out of 40) and Tawnya scored 37.
The final scores being Tawnya Cline 200 and Kristen Perez 195.
#13 JUDI TAKES OUT TAWNYA IN SOCAL
Up until the SoCal Pro contest on September 7th in Covina California, Tawnya Cline had racked up four Pro Sports Model Masters titles and was the reigning IPL APEX Pro Sports Model Masters Champion. So, heading into the SoCal Pro, it is safe to say that Tawnya Cline had plenty of momentum. Not only that, Cline had never been defeated in Pro Masters Sports Model across her four year IPL career. That was until the SoCal Pro.
New IPL Pro Judi Renee chose this SoCal show to make her Pro Debut. As the contest progressed it appeared that Judi meant business. With a nice physique, dominating Posing/Presentation, as well as her killer Model Walk at Finals Judi propelled herself right to the top of the Pro class and to her first Pro victory, defeating Tawnya Cline in the process. Shout out to Jen Enrich-Wills in 3rd place.
This win certainly made the season more interesting, especially considering the two would be facing off again at APEX the following month.
#12 SARAH MCMANUS : 2X PRO BIKINI CHAMPION
But first, a little history…
Sarah Elizabeth hit the IPL Bikini stage for the first time at the October 2018 Southwest Grand Prix in Phoenix, Arizona. At this this contest she placed 2nd in Bikini Novice Class A and 3rd in Bikini Open Class A. These placements would qualify her to compete at APEX in November.
At 2018 APEX III Sarah would find herself in a stacked Bikini Open class, featuring some of the best Bikini competitors of the 2018 season. Needless to say, she was able to snag 1st place and IPL Pro Card.
Following her 2018 success Sarah was featured in Natural Bikini Magazine discussing her amazing season.
Fast forward just six months and Sarah was back on the IPL stage at the 2019 4th Annual IPL Arizona Championship in Phoenix, Arizona. This time for her Pro Bikini Debut.
Next up for Sarah was the 4th Annual IPL Grand Prix Pro/Am in October. The contest that started it all for her one year ago. Here Sarah would snag her second Pro victory. Shout out to Brittney Truman 2nd and Stephanie Contreras 3rd.
For her amazing success during the 2019 season Sarah landed on the front cover of the most recent issue of Natural Bikini Magazine, releasing December 2019.
What an incredible run for Sarah in just one year of competition! With these two Pro victories Sarah joins an elite group of IPL Pro Bikini title winners who have won more than one Pro title. She is only the 5th athlete to ever earn this distinction.
We are excited to see what’s in store for Sarah in 2020!
#11 NEW BIKINI PROS
2019 was certainly an exciting year for the IPL Bikini Division. The division featured stunning athletes from across the country who displayed spot-on examples of full, round, lean physiques with amazing posing and presentation.
Throughout the year the IPL awarded 17 Pro Cards in Pro Open Bikini. With a year like this one can only imagine what the 2020 season will bring!
#10 SUNNY’S LOOK AT THE SOCAL CLASSIC PRO
When it comes to 49 years-young mother of five Sunny Eclipse Blades in Pro Bikini at the 2019 3rd Annual IPL SoCal Classic Pro/Am on May 18 in Covina, California the first thing that comes to mind is WOW!
The SoCal Classic Pro/Am was Sunny’s fourth IPL Pro Bikini contest in two years. Her placings in the previous three outing were 3rd, 4th and 6th, respectively.
It is CLEAR that it all came together for Sunny at the SoCal Classic Pro. Her look was just jaw-droppingly CRAZY.
Conditioning, Muscularity (including nice, full, round, sweeping muscle bellies in her quads), Symmetry, Presentation (including an amazing Model Walk at Finals) and an overall light that beamed from Sunny on that stage.
When asked how she was feeling on stage that day she says, “Getting through a 16 week prep while navigating life’s rough waters showed me that I am a POWERFUL WOMAN and FIERCE & UNSTOPPABLE was how I was FEELING.”
Needless to say, Sunny snagged her first Pro Bikini title in SoCal.
Following the SoCal Classic, there were many who believed Sunny Eclipse Blades could very well take it all in 2019.
#9 SUNNY TAKES OUT TAWNYA IN SOCAL
Simply put, Sunny Eclipse Blades dominated Pro Masters at the 2019 2nd Annual IPL SoCal Pro/Am on September 7th in Covina California.
Sunny’s first 2019 contest was the SoCal Classic Pro in May. At that contest she presented an otherworldly package, including top notch Posing & Presentation and a Model Walk at Finals that brought down the house. Needless to say, she took 1st place, earning her first Pro Open Bikini title.
Sunny would then reappear on the IPL stage at the SoCal Pro four months later. Here she would earn her first Pro Masters Bikini title, defeating reigning APEX Pro Masters Bikini Champion Tawnya Cline in the process.
Then, later in the contest, Sunny would deliver a repeat performance. This time in Pro Masters Evening Gown, once again taking 1st place and defeating IPL APEX Pro Masters Evening Gown Champion Tawnya Cline.
These victories would set Sunny up to be the potential Heir Apparent to the APEX crown the following month.
#8 IPL SOCAL GROWS
The presence of the International Physique League in Southern California has been on an upward path since the first contest held in September of 2017. In terms of competitor numbers the show has been growing ever since. And 2019 was no exception.
So many amazing athletes have hit the IPL SoCal stage, many of whom earning Pro status. We are incredibly proud of IPL SoCal. Shout out to IPL SoCal Promoter Kristen Perez, the coaches, trainers, athletes and everyone who has taken part in making IPL SoCal such a success!
We are super excited for the 2020 season!
#7 JENNIFER MICHELI & IPL FLORIDA
The IPL is not about spreading as far, wide and fast as possible. Instead, our focus is on offering a quality and consistent competition experience at every event. And, this would be difficult to maintain if growth were to happen too rapidly.
The IPL has a close-knit family vibe. Meaning, the IPL experience offers a warm, friendly, safe, fair AND competitive environment. Needless to say, adding any new contest events, especially in new markets has to be carefully thought out. That being said, Daytona Beach Florida was a great new market to expand into!
#IPLFLORIDA peeps banded together to make it happen. And, what a fantastic time it was! The first ever IPL Florida show was the 2019 Sunshine State Championship on April 13 in Daytona Beach, Florida. There was so much incredible energy surrounding this contest from the moment it was announced, all the way to show day, and after!
And the person responsible for spearheading the IPL Florida initiative was none other than health and fitness industry leader, Jennifer Micheli! Jennifer would go on to earn IPL Pro Cards in Bikini Open, Bikini Masters, Athletic Open, Athletic Masters, earn two Pro Masters Athletic titles and become the IPL APEX Pro Women’s Athletic Masters Champion. Then later in the year, Micheli would land on the front cover of NATURALMAG.
Two of the biggest stories to come out of the Sunshine State Championship were IPL newcomer Kristen Davis, Bikini Pro Card winner, who shortly after this contest landed on the front cover of VIGOROUS Magazine. As well as Fitness Angels and Evening Gown Pro Card winner Filiz McNamara who landed on the cover of SEAM Magazine.
There is so much incredible potential for IPL Florida. We are super excited to return for the 2nd Annual IPL Sunshine State Championship on April 25th 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. There is no doubt this contest will even be more amazing!
#6 FLORIDA GROWS!
And just like that, IPL Florida took off! The #7 Top 19 IPL Story Of 2019 was the birth and celebration of IPL Florida and its leader, Jennifer Micheli. Then, just five months after the first IPL Florida show in April, the IPL would return for its second event.
With almost 60% growth in athletes and an amazingly enthusiastic, packed audience the IPL really popped!
Now, as this post goes up, the IPL is just 13 weeks away from its third Florida show! And, as far as the numbers are concerned, it looks like this show will blow away 2019! How exciting!
#5 ZERO DRUG-TEST FAILURES
The International Physique League was created to change the game and set a new standard in our sport, specifically on the “Natural” side. Of primary importance and priority was taking drastic and intensive steps towards eradicating the use of performance enhancing drugs and banned substances. And creating a safe, level and fair playing field for athletes.
When the IPL was announced in May of 2015 a radical drug-testing protocol was introduced. The IPL would use the World Anti-doping Agency’s (WADA) complete Prohibited Substance List. Not only that, but the IPL would utilize a third-party urine sample collecting company to manage the testing protocol and sample collection chain of command.
But what’s more, and perhaps the most shocking declaration, was the IPL’s commitment to exposing all drug-test failures. The idea behind all this was that this would certainly serve as a very serious deterrent to athletes who choose to use banned substance…as well as those who simply do not research their supplements before ingesting them.
This history-making plan, without a doubt, was the most aggressive initiative ever put forward in the fight to rid our sport of PED’s and Banned Substances.
In 2015 there were two drug-test failures in the IPL. In 2016 there were five. And in 2017 there were four. 11 in all.
Then, in 2018, there were NONE.
This major milestone with regards to the IPL’s drug testing program was incredibly significant. Significant for the IPL and our sport, in general. Perhaps the message set in 2015 finally became clear. The IPL will not tolerate PED’s and Banned Substances in our league.
Now, for the second consecutive year, the IPL did not have any drug test failures. In 2018 this fact landed at #1 on the top 18 IPL stories of 2018. Now in 2019 this story lands at #5. Perhaps the impact of this is not as significant considering we are getting used to the trend?
Either way, let’s hope for a 100% clean 2020!
#4 APEX IV
IPL APEX makes it towards the top of this list for a number of reasons. There was tons of excitement at APEX in 2019, but here are just a few highlights…
For one, APEX is obviously the IPL’s Year-end Pinnacle Championship Event. An event for which each competitor must qualify to compete by placing Top Five in their class during the year. So this contest featured some of the best competitors in all divisions from the 2019 season.
Secondly, APEX grew in terms of competitor numbers. In the contest’s four year history, 2019 showcased the most athletes.
Thirdly, the IPL welcomed four amazing new Pros. Even more significant as these Pro Cards were earned competing against some of the best from the season. This list of Pros includes:
BIKINI OPEN Simona Nelson
FITNESS ANGELS OPEN Kristen Davis
WOMEN’S SPORTS MODEL OPEN Carmen Martinez
EVENING GOWN OPEN Amy Olivas
And finally, for the first time in APEX history, the contest featured the Inspiration and Transformation division. In order to qualify for Inspiration and Transformation at APEX, the contestants needed to earn a Top Transformation Award during the season. So, APEX featured some of the most inspirational stories to be shared on the IPL stage in 2019!
What an amazing fourth year for APEX! One can only imagine what 2020 will look like!
Check out The Top 18 IPL Stories Of 2018
Check out The Top 17 IPL Stories Of 2017
Check out The Top 16 IPL Stories Of 2016
THE INTERNATIONAL PHYSIQUE LEAGUE (IPL)
The International Physique League is a competitive fitness federation celebrating top “Natural”/drug-tested physiques from around the Globe! The IPL offers 7 Pro Qualifying divisions of competition including Bodybuilding, Figure, Athletic, Sports Model, Fitness Angels, Bikini, & Evening Gown.
The IPL maintains the “sport feel” of Physique Competition and we will never veer away from that. We are a sport league and will maintain the integrity and spirit of competitive sporting events. The IPL is not a “Pageant-style” federation. We are also not a bare-bones, nitty gritty operation either. That being said, we do like a little flash and flair and as part of a media company we are looking to create and promote ambassadors who represent true health and fitness.
The IPL is wholly owned by MiBoLife Publishing, the leader in publicity, news, and media for drug-tested Physique Competition. IPL athletes, contests, and events are featured in the following magazine publications: NATURALMAG, NATURAL BIKINI, NATURAL GAINZ, VIGOROUS & SEAM. Five magazines. Tons of potential cover models and countless articles, features, and spreads. Michael Brooks Photography is always on site capturing the incredible energy and excitement, and looking for the next superstars.